The construction of Guatemala City ’s neoclassical Catedral Metropolitana (7a Avenida facing the plaza, 6 a.m.–noon and 2–7 p.m.) began in 1782 and was completed in 1815, though the bell towers would not be completed until 1867. It has survived two earthquakes, a testament to its sturdy construction, though it isn’t exactly the prettiest of Guatemala’s churches.
The pillars on the church’s facade are adorned with the names of many of Guatemala’s disappeared, etched into the stone as a testament to the desire for justice, whether in this lifetime or the next. Inside, many of the altars and paintings adorning the church were brought here forcefully when the capital, along with its institutions, was officially moved to its current site from Antigua .
The standout is the image of the Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro, Guatemala’s oldest, brought into the country by Pedro de Alvarado in 1524.